Central Maine Landlord Accused of Sexually Harassing Tenants
A landlord from the Central Maine town of Manchester is in trouble for various crimes including allegedly asking at least one of his tenants to pay unpaid rent with sexual favors instead of money.
According to the KJ, Fred L. Wheeler II of Manchester has been accused in a Department of Justice federal lawsuit of offering to forgive unpaid rent exchange for sex acts, requiring a romantic relationship as a condition for one tenant to live in one of his units, making unwelcome sexual contact with female tenants, commenting on their physical appearance, and entering units without consent.
The complaint was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine.
The article explains that the lawsuit claims that Wheeler's actions, which started sometime around 2016, violated the Fair Housing Act.
The article quotes Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke as saying:
No one should be denied access to housing because of their refusal to accept a landlord’s sexual demands. The Justice Department stands ready to hold accountable any landlord who preys upon vulnerable tenants and those seeking housing.
The article explains that Wheeler owns Landscape Center of Maine Inc. and manages rental units in several Maine communities, including Lewiston.
As the case is ongoing, law enforcement is looking for the public's help. If you believe you are a victim of Wheeler or if you have information about the case, you should reach out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine at (207) 780.3257, or connect with the office through email by emailing USAME-FairHousing@usa.doj.gov
*NOTE - All suspects are considered innocent until found guilty in a court of law*
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